The Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club was officially formed in 2011, after a successful trial through 2010 ensured that there were enough players interested to create the team. Despite being a very young club the team have gone on to achieve a number of successes in the past 3 seasons.
In 2013 the team was unbeaten in the Southern Development League (won 6, drawn 2), thus finishing top of the league. A total of 139 points were amassed, with the nearest rivals RNC Hereford back on 103. Somerset VICC were reigning champions after a successful 2012 campaign. However, rain-affected match days had meant that all but two of last year’s fixtures had been unplayable and so this year’s success was resoundingly the team’s greatest achievement to date.
A number of the squad members were presented with the trophy by Somerset Cricket Club CEO Guy Lavender. As guests at the County Ground during Somerset’s County Championship match against Surrey, the team paraded the trophy during the lunch interval and gave a demonstration during tea.
Aside from their success in the Development League the Somerset VICC have also managed to reach the quarterfinals of the National Knock Out Cup in 2011 and the semifinals this year. This level of success bodes well for the step up from the Developmental League to the National League, which the club hopes to make in the next couple of years.
The Incider is delighted to publish match reports of the team’s games starting with two games in June v Yorkshire & Sussex.
Sunday 8th June 2014
Yorkshire 137/8 (30 overs, R Hossell 3-19), Somerset 138/5 (22.2 overs, E Hossell 81*, T Naqvi 4-24), Somerset win by 5 wickets.
Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club kicked off their season with an impressive victory in the quarter finals of the British Blind Sport Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup against Yorkshire at Ilton Cricket Club, thanks to an outstanding unbeaten 81 from Ed Hossell, with Somerset winning by five wickets with 7.4 balls remaining.
Yorkshire won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions, and their openers made a solid, if unspectacular start, with Martin Adams scoring a couple of early boundaries through square leg, and the score had moved along to 37/0 before the first wicket fell, as the Yorkshire openers attempted a single to Rob Crisp, who ran out Adams with a direct hit from about ten yards for 26. This led to two more wickets falling in quick succession, with Jason Aughton having Dean Wilson caught in close by Rory Hossell, before Rory Hossell bowled the Yorkshire captain Atif Rafiq, beating him for pace.
The Yorkshire middle order began to rebuild, before another Yorkshire collapse left them in trouble at 98/7 after 21 overs. Steve Bailey mistimed a cover drive high into the air, from the bowling of Rory Hossell, which Crisp caught after running in some distance and sliding forwards. Two overs later, home skipper Alan Mabey’s decision to bring Martin Hallett onto bowl initially looked a bad one, with Taf Naqvi hitting a six and a four, before Naqvi put a catch straight down Ed Hossell’s throat at backward square leg, departing for a quick-fire 20. Jason Adams then fell leg before wicket to his second ball as Hallett struck again. Rory Hossell then claimed his third wicket, bowling John Garbett for two.
The Yorkshire lower order resisted and frustrated the Somerset bowlers, with David White being out leg before off the bowling of Michael Church for a duck, coming from some 43 deliveries. Wynston Stafford and Colin Baxter also stuck around, before several lusty blows from Stafford lifted Yorkshire’s score to 137/8 from their thirty overs, with Rory Hossell the pick of the bowlers, with 3-19 from his six overs, whilst older brother Ed Hossell ended up with 0-11 from his six overs.
The Somerset chase could hardly have got off to a worse start, with the younger Hossell getting out in the first over for 1, nicking off to Naqvi, before Jason Aughton was bowled first ball. Soon after, Rob Crisp was controversially given out lbw for 4 and Michael Church was bowled for 1, Naqvi claiming his third and fourth wickets in the process with a superb spell of aggressive and hostile fast bowling. Yorkshire skipper Atif Rafiq then bowled Martin Hallett for 1, and Somerset were reeling at 51/5, despite being ahead of the run rate.
All the while, Ed Hossell had been watching from the other end as batsmen came and went, struggling to cope with the pace, line and length of the bowling attack, but in veteran wicket keeper Dave Wood, Hossell found a partner who would stay with him to guide Somerset over the finishing line. Despite Yorkshire’s best efforts, they couldn’t remove neither Wood, who used all his experience to simply nurdle the ball into the gaps, nor Hossell, who grew in confidence as his innings went on, reverse sweeping two sixes in the process, before in the 23rd over, a wide ball from David White was sufficient for Somerset to obtain victory and progress through to the semi-finals. Despite a superb spell from Naqvi – who took 4-24 from his six overs – Wood and Hossell remained calm to guide Somerset over the line. Wood ended up on 24 not out from 48 balls, whilst Ed Hossell’s 81 came from 85 balls, containing nine fours and two sixes.
Sussex 242/7 (33 overs, J Harrison 93, E Hossell 5-59), Somerset 145/7 (27 overs, E Hossell 44), Match Drawn. Points: Somerset 11, Sussex 13
On Saturday 21st June, Somerset kicked off their first campaign in the National League by hosting two time champions Sussex Sharks on a glorious afternoon at Westland Sports Cricket Club in Yeovil, as Somerset achieved a creditable draw against one of the strongest sides in the competition.
Somerset won the toss and the captain Alan Mabey elected to field first, although Somerset struggled to make early inroads, with Sussex making 79 for the first wicket, where Ed Hossell took a fantastic catch on the boundary to dismiss Ryan West for a brisk 48.
Hossell himself accounted for the next four wickets to fall, having the new batsman caught brilliantly down the leg side by the skipper Mabey for a duck, and removing Toby Collins thanks to a sharp catch at cover from Rob Crisp. Sussex captain Si Ledwith then strode to the middle to join opener Joe Harrison, who had by this point passed his half century in a near chanceless innings, and the pair put on 67 to take the score to 210-3, before Hossell caught Harrison seven shy of his century off his own bowling, and soon after Ledwith picked out Michael Church at long on, who took a very good high catch, having amassed 23 runs himself.
Number 7 Marcus Kippling only lasted three balls before hitting his own stumps trying to hit the ball down the leg side, much to his frustration. Sussex had lost three wickets for five runs, but were still in a commanding position, and with the final ball of the 33rd over, Mark Burchell picked out Church at long on for 18 to give Ed Hossell his fifth wicket, ending up with 5-59 from 10 overs. After the fall of this wicket, Sussex declared on 242-7 after 33 overs, leaving themselves 27 overs to try and bowl Somerset out to win the game, and Somerset facing a daunting target.
After an excellent tea, Somerset set about their chase brightly enough, with Ed Hossell racing onto 44 before he clattered his own stumps attempting to reverse sweep Ian Morris. Soon after, the other opener Rob Crisp was adjudged lbw to Harrison and Jason Aughton was caught by the Sussex skipper Ledwith off the bowling of Mark Burchell, with the score moving onto 95-3 and the victory now looking impossible for Somerset. Burchell then bowled Church and had Rory Hossell caught for 23 before Morris returned to remove Graham Glover, leaving Somerset in trouble on 125-6, with still eight overs remaining. Mikey Contreras and Alan Mabey dug in for the draw and after Mabey fell lbw to the last ball of the innings, Somerset had survived and escaped with a draw, closing on 145-7, obtaining 11 points to Sussex’s 13.
Keep a lookout for more coverage of the Somerset Visually Impaired Cricket Club’s matches and other activities on The Incider very soon.
For more details about the BCEW (Blind Cricket England & Wales) please visit their website: http://www.bcew.co.uk/